HAMPTON, ON- Sophomore Super Late Model competitor Kelly Balson has yet to finish an event off of the podium in 2015. ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ will make his third OSCAAR Tour start this Friday at Delaware Speedway, and aims to employ a conservative strategy in hopes of continuing his recent streak of strong performances.
“If there’s one event on this schedule that I’m prepared to take what’s given to me – it’s this one,” reasons Balson. “Delaware is a complete unknown for us. We haven’t been there in 4 years, and that was with our Sportsman car. We have a base to work from, and we’re just going to hope it’s effective”
Despite his admitted inexperience at Delaware, Balson is confident that Car Chief Graham Annis has prepared a competitive package for the No. B10 to utilize in Round 3 of the perennially challenging tour.
“It’s not a place that I intend to unload and be junk,” offers Balson bluntly. “Graham has quite a bit of experience at Delaware with a few different drivers, and I have all the faith in the world that he’s got the right setup for us to work off of”
“We’re actually trying out a few experimental combinations,” continues the multi-time Peterborough Speedway champion. “I mean, we could very likely take the same setup we’ve used all year and be fine, but we felt as though this is the time to start trying some new things”
“It’s a big swing. It’s a bit of a gamble, yah. But, if it works, we’re going to be really good. If it doesn’t work, and we fall on our face, we’ll make note of it and move on. This is the only way to get ahead in this game”
The London Recreational Racing-backed driver admits that while a lack of testing could place his family-run program behind the proverbial eight-ball, the goal remains to remain with the event’s early favourites, with hopes of making a late-race play for a podium finish.
“We’re going to do the absolute best that we can. But I’m not going to lose my mind if we fall behind the guys that have been testing at Delaware for days,” explains the well-spoken veteran. “We know that [Rob] Clarke and Jesse [Kennedy] will be fast – because the place is second nature to them. And we know that the McColl [Racing Enterprises] cars will be good, because who knows Delaware better than Mike McColl? We’re just going to see what we can do to stay in the same area code as those guys”
“We haven’t done any testing for Delaware. It is what it is,” shrugs Balson. “That’s just not in the budget. We don’t have the money and, maybe more importantly, we don’t have the time. A test day at Delaware would be a 4-hour haul – one way – and $1000. That’s just not realistic for our program”
“Our plan is to go with the setup that Graham has set out for us, and make the best of the situations that we find ourselves in. The car has been good all year, and I have a feeling that if the wheels are pointed in the right direction with 10 to go, we could be in a good spot to come out of this event with a decent points total.”
Details for Round 3 of the OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour, including gate times and advanced ticket sales, can be found at www.DelawareSpeedway.com.
Marketing support for Kelly Balson’s sophomore tour campaign is provided by London Recreational Racing, Cochrane Automotive, Brandon’s Landscapes, Castrol Edge, Bennett Chevrolet of Cambridge and GTA Racing Design.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)